Finding out the highest paid NFL player is not a tough task, as all the data are publicly available for all. However, ranking becomes inexact science when you have to consider other variables such as signing bonus, cap hit, annual salary, base salary, etc. Additionally, contract terms also have an impact sometimes. To make the list simple and provide you the list of highest paid player in NFL, we only considered the average annual salary. However, we also mentioned other financial figures for each player too.
Currently, 32 NFL players earn at least $20 million a season in average annual salary. Among them, Patrick Mahomes becomes the top by earning $45 million a year. Following is the list of the ten NFL players who are earning the most in 2021.
#10. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans
- Average annual salary: $29.5 million
- Contract terms: 4 years (2020-2023)
- Signing bonus: $20 million
- Guaranteed at the signing: $62 million
- Total guaranteed: $91 million
Right before 2020 Season Tannehill signed a lucrative 4-year contract with Titans. However, he joined Tennessee in 2019 with a one-year contract for $7 million, which could give him up to $12 million in incentives. Ryan Tannehill started the 2019 season with Tennessee in the 6th round replacing Marcus Mariota in the second half against Broncos. After that, he was added to the starting roster and, with the excellent performance, became the comeback player of the year in the 2019 NFL Season. Later in 2020, Tannehill signed a $118 million deal for 4 years with the Titans.
Before joining the Titans, Tannehill played for Miami Dolphins from 2012-2018.
Unfortunately, Tannehill couldn’t bag any major titles yet, he was named for the 2019 Pro Bowl team in AFC.
#9. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
- Average annual salary: $30 million
- Contract terms: 5 years (2018-2023)
- Signing bonus: $46.5 million
- Guaranteed at the signing: $94.5 million
- Total guaranteed: $100 million
Matt Ryan was picked as No.3 by Atlanta Falcons in the 2018 draft; he was then a highest paid player in the NFL history. However, Ryan has been playing for Atlanta Falcons from the beginning of his NFL career in 2008. Although Ryan doesn’t have any significant title achievement but has other career achievements such as MVP in 2016, appeared in 4 Pro Bowl, NFL offensive player of the year in 2016, and more.
In the starting, Ryan signed a 6-year contract for $67.5 million, which got an extension in 2013 for another five years for $103.75 million.
#8. Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
- Average annual salary: $31.41 million
- Contract terms: 1 year (2020-2021)
- Signing bonus: None
- Guaranteed at the signing: $31.41 million
- Total guaranteed: $31.41 million
Dak Prescott started his NFL career at the age of 24 with Dallas Cowboys with a 4 years contract in 2016. Within these years, Prescott has placed himself in good condition in the team. Besides, he acquired some achievements as well as value, including 2 Pro Bowl appearances, which lead him to one of the highest paid football players. Additionally, Dak had earned many records and honors in his college football career too.
Prescott have earned the franchise tag from the Cowboys before signing for 2020 contract. However, he is injured right now, but Prescott has a good chance to get an extension in next year for a long-term deal. His’s first signing was $2.7 million for 4 years with a $0.38 million signing bonus as entry-level. However, with the growth of his playing level, his average annual salary increased dramatically from $0.68 to $31.41 million in just 4 years.
#7. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
- Average annual salary: $32 million
- Contract terms: 4 years (2020-2024)
- Signing bonus: 16.3 million
- Guaranteed at the signing: $66.5 million
- Total guaranteed: $108 million
Carson Wentz was big signup for the Eagles in 2016, which was Wentz’s debut in NFL. However, he gave his best to the team. As a result, the Eagles were able to win the Super Bowl 2018. Wentz initially signed up for the four years contract in 2016, which got extended later until 2024. In his first four years at Eagles, Wentz has earned some significant achievements, such as Bert Bell Award, playing in the Pro Bowl, and more.
However, at the end of NFL 2021, the Eagles are thinking of breaking down the contract due to his injury history. But, technically, releasing Wentz will be impossible as his cap number jumps up in 2021. Carson Wentz still has time and money on his side to get back with the team.
#6. Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings
- Average annual salary: $33 million
- Contract terms: 2 years (2020-2022)
- Signing bonus: $30 million
- Guaranteed at the signing: $31 million
- Total guaranteed: $66 million
Cousins started playing NFL in 2012 with Washington Redskins and joined with the Vikings in 2018 for three years. However, the Vikings have extended the contract for another two years for $66 million, which makes him one of the top paid NFL players. Although Cousins has been playing for 9 seasons, his previous team Redskins has failed to use his talent. Form the beginning of his career, Krik was always in the news due to contacts.
However, Cousins got his first-ever, fully guaranteed contract in 2017 with the Vikings. He secured that contract for $84 million, and then extension got him more value later in 2020. The latest signing deal will continue with a $10 million cap hit every year.
#5. Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
- Average annual salary: $33.5 million
- Contract terms: 4 years (2020-2024)
- Signing bonus: $25 million
- Guaranteed at the signing: $57 million
- Total guaranteed: $110 million
After the unsuccessful rookie season in 2016, Jared Goff leads the Rams on the following season and led them to a playoff appearance. Later in 2019, Goff helped the team to reach on Super Bowl, which secured Jared Goff’s place with the Rams. As a result, LA Rams renewed the contract for four more years for $134 million with the guaranteed $110 million secured, and Goff became one of the highest paid NFL football player.
Goff holds a significant record for most pass completions in a game by passing 45 times. Moreover, Goff was selected for the Pro Bowl team in 2017 and 2018.
#4. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
- Average annual salary: $33.5 million
- Contract terms: 4 years (2019-2023)
- Signing bonus: $57.5 million
- Guaranteed at the signing: $79.2 million
- Total guaranteed: $98.7 million
- Aaron Rodgers net worth: $120 million
37 years old Rodgers’ career has full of achievements, which made him one of the top highest paid NFL players. His achievements include but are not limited to Super Bowl champion, 2 NFL MVP, one super bowl MVP, 9 Pro Bowls, and more. From the beginning of his career, Rodgers has been playing for Packer since 2005.
After his contract finish in December 2023, Aaron Rodgers will turn 40, and most probably, he will be gone for retirement unless he keeps performing. Rodger will have a chance to prove himself again for the next two seasons to lead the Packers for another Super Bowl. However, Rodgers is most likely to be replaced by Jordan Love if he can show his performance over Rodgers. But we have to wait at least until 2022 to see what happens.
#3. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Average annual salary: $34 million
- Contract terms: 2 years (2019-2021)
- Signing bonus: $37.5 million
- Guaranteed at the signing: $37.5 million
- Total guaranteed: $37.5 million
- Ben Roethlisberger’s net worth: $100 million
Ben Roethlisberger is considered the NFL’s one of the most efficient passers, who also bagged the record of youngest Super Bowl-winning quarterback in 2006. Moreover, Roethlisberger is ranked 7th for NFL all-time career passing yards. Ben Roethlisberger led three Superbowl since he joined the steelers in 2005. However, he is with the Steelers for the last 15 years, and he might retire as one of the Steelers unless the team releases him.
Although Roethlisberger will be under unrestricted free agents in 2021, there is a huge chance that the Steelers will extend the contract like before. Right now, Ben is on 2-year deal for $68 million. Before that, Roethlisberger signed for two 6 years and one 4 years contract from 2004 to 2019.
#2. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
- Average annual salary: $35 million
- Contract terms: 4 years (2019-2023)
- Signing bonus: $65 million
- Guaranteed at the signing: $75 million
- Total guaranteed: $107 million
- Russell Wilson’s net worth: $135 million
Wilson is another NFL player who devoted his career to a single team. Russell Wilson was drafted in 2012 for the Seahawks; since then, he is still with them. Wilson was selected for 8 Pro Bowls and was in the started roster in two Super Bowls and won one. However, in his entry-level contract, Wilson was hired for a $0.75 million average annual salary for four years from 2012 to 2015. Later, it got extended for another four years for $87.6 million. And finally, Seahawks kept Wilson for another four years for $140 million, which may get the extension again after 2023 as Wilson has a wish to play until he is 45 years old.
#1. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
- Average annual salary: $45 million
- Contract terms: 10 years (2019-2023)
- Signing bonus: $100 million
- Guaranteed at the signing: $63 million
- Total guaranteed: $141.5 million
Patrick Mahomes signed a 10-year contract with Chiefs for $450 million, which is the biggest NFL contract in history. However, before that, Mahomes completed his entry-level with Chiefs in 2017. Within these years, he played a big role in leading the Kansas City Chiefs and a lot of achievements.
Although Mahomes was hired for $450 million and became the highest-paid NFL player, he may earn up to $502.631 million if he continues playing with the current pace for the next 12 years. In his three years of career at NFL, Mahomes has earned many records which includes 5000 yard and 50 touchdowns in a single season, NFL offensive player of the year award, 3 pro bowls and more.
Here to stay. . .! ⏰⏰ pic.twitter.com/mfwMga3Kl0
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) July 6, 2020
So, if you were looking for the answer to who is the highest paid NFL player? Patrick Mahomes is the answer; you should know by now.
These 10 players are in the list of highest paid NFL players, who significantly provide positive supports to the team, and they really worth the money.
Who is the lowest-paid NFL player?
You may also wonder to know the opposite of the coin, which means the name of the lowest-paid NFL player. For your information, Tyrone Swoopes is the lowest-paid NFL player, who is paying for Seattle Seahawks at the tight ends. However, he is making $378,000, which is $24,000 per game. However, it is not the worst deal either, but, by the NFL standards, it is the lowest.
How much does a professional football player make?
After looking at this most paid NFL players list, you may think that every professional football player’s salary is millions of dollars. But the median earning is $860,000. However, in the rookie season, a player may earn a minimum of $435,000.
What NFL team pays its players the most?
According to the statistics, the Chicago Bears has the highest payroll. The expenditure includes bonuses, benefits, and $271 million for player salaries for a season.
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